Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC
Estate Planning
& Tax Law
Toll Free: 888-312-6978
Website Navigation Menu

For pro athletes, taxes aren't all fun and games

The San Francisco Giants will shell out more than $166 million for player salaries this year. The money is not exactly distributed equally. According to, the highest-paid player on the team is Hunter Pence, with an annual paycheck of $18.7 million. The lowest paid player, Matt Duffy, is earning $509,000. Both earn tidy sums, but it's hard not to wonder how much of that they actually take home.

Inquiring minds apparently found at least part of an answer to that question a few weeks ago, when Andrew McCutchen, center fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, left his pay stub in the locker room at Chicago's Wrigley Field. A picture quickly found its way to social media.

No one was surprised by McCutchen's salary -- it's right there for everyone to see on ESPN -- but many were surprised at how much went to taxes and where it all went. Five states and four cities were taking a cut. McCutchen was on the hook to every state and almost every city he had played in during that pay period. Sports industry insiders call it the "jock tax."

The most overwhelming part for players new to the pros is the sheer number of forms they have to deal with at tax time. One professional hockey player said he was overwhelmed by the pile of paper. But, he admitted, the total was manageable. Players in other sports would apparently disagree about just how manageable the totals are.

Players aren't just taxed for the days they play an official game in another state. The tax is based on "duty days," and players are on duty for practices and meetings as well as for games. All they have to do is show up on professional business, and the tax is triggered.

California has a unique place in the history of the jock tax. We'll share the story in our next post.

Source: Portland Press Herald, "Pro athletes pay a big price for their success – in taxes," Mike Lowe, June 28, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us Now to begin your initial consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

FindLaw Network

Office Locations

Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC
490 Post Street, Suite 508
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-433-3350
Toll Free: 888-312-6978
Map and Directions

Additional Office Locations:
323 Ray Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Phone: 925-484-0888 
Pleasanton Law Office Map

San Mateo
1900 S. Norfolk Street, Suite 350
San Mateo, CA 94403
Phone: 415-433-3350
Map and Directions

1250 Oakmead Pkwy, Suite 210 
Sunnyvale, CA 94085 
Phone: 888-312-6978 
Map and Directions